The Benefits of Joining a Dance Competition Team

Dance competitions may seem daunting to those who haven’t yet participated in one, but as any dancer who regularly competes will tell you, they are incredibly rewarding and challenging experiences with many practical benefits for dancers of all ages. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most significant benefits of joining a dance competition team.

You Become a Performance Pro

Dancers who stick to in-studio performances may only perform once or possibly twice a year, while dancers who are participating in competitions–either solo or as part of a dance competition team–will find themselves on stage much more often.

The benefits of performing on stage more than once or twice a year cannot be overstated: dancers who compete will understand how to utilize rehearsals and practices more effectively; they understand how to manage and calm pre-stage jitters; they know what sort of items (ranging from hairpins to extra makeup) they’ll need to bring backstage; and they overall find themselves much more confident in their on-stage performances than dancers who do not have as many stage opportunities.

Competition Critique Enables Improvement

While a dance studio will provide critique for their students, it’s a bit different when the critique is coming from someone who is viewing the dancer’s style and ability with an impersonal eye and without the context of that dancer’s history at the studio in mind.

Critique from competition judges is often to the point and allows dancers to think more objectively about their performances. What worked? What didn’t? Why didn’t it work and how can I improve it for the future? These are just some of the questions that dancers may be able to answer when they are given personalized critiques from competition judges.

Connections and Networking

This is especially vital for any dancer who plans to take their passion for dance beyond the hobby level. Dancers who are hoping to make dance their career can benefit exponentially from dance competitions due to the high level of networking and other connections that goes on at these events.

Depending on the level and location of the competition, there may even be industry insiders attending in order to see who the up-and-coming dance stars of the future may be. And while dancers should not expect to attend competitions and then immediately be handed a contract for a professional gig, their participation in competitions may expose them to thousands and thousands of potential connections that could help them in the future.

Winning–And Losing–Is Beneficial to Self-Esteem

It’s important for dancers to be able to handle loss and rejection, especially if they plan on taking dance to any sort of professional level. Dance Competitions can help dancers learn how to manage their emotions when they don’t win–whether that means they didn’t win first place or, in the future, didn’t get the role they wanted.

Conversely, dancers who win at these dance competitions also benefit by being able to connect their own hard work, hours of practice, and personal sacrifices that were necessary in order to perfect their routine.

5 Ways Dancing Boosts Confidence

Dance is a physical art form that can improve your life, or your child’s life, in countless ways. Dancing boost confidence! One of the most noticeable ways that dancing makes life better is by boosting your confidence. Whether you’re a dance parent to a budding dancer or you’re a dancer who has already hit the stage and wants to learn more, you’ll want to learn about 5 ways that dancing boosts your confidence.

It Literally Gets Your Happy-Inducing Endorphins Going

Endorphins are a natural chemical that, when released in the body, make you feel happy and content. One of the easiest ways to release endorphins is to engage in a form of moderate physical exercise–like dance! In addition to boosting those make-you-happy endorphins, dance reduces the levels of stress-causing cortisol in your body.

It Inspires the Creation of Goals and Feelings of Accomplishment

Every level of dance–whether your child is just starting pre-K movement classes or they’re on a competitive dance team–encourages dancers to create goals. These goals can range from And when these goals are accomplished, it gives dancers a big self-esteem and confidence boost. When they know that they can achieve something if they set their mind to it, practice hard, and take it seriously, it allows them to feel more confident in themselves.

Performing On Stage Generates Confidence in Spades

Dancing on stage again and again boosts confidence in an enormous way. Although most dancers will still experience some measure of those famous stomach-butterflies, the more you perform on stage, the more confident you feel when you step out. And as you become more confident in yourself, you will find that your performance benefits as a result. And the better you perform, the more confident you feel! It’s a wonderful circle of confidence that only increases as you continue to dance.

Dance Improves Body-Image and Self-Esteem

Dance is a great way to stay physically healthy! And the increased coordination, flexibility and body-awareness that comes with regular dance are a surefire way to improve your self-esteem. Improved self-esteem leads to better overall wellness, to say nothing of the confidence that comes along with feeling good about yourself.

It Encourages a Sense of Community

It may come as a surprise, but community–friendships, interpersonal ties and other types of close-knit relationships–can be a major source of confidence. When you are in a dance class, whether it’s a competitive team or a standard ballet class, you will develop a sense of greater community with the dancers around you. That sense of community will inspire feelings of closeness and pride with the others who are with you on your dance journey. As you all work and grow together, their success becomes your success; and when you are out there on stage with dancers that believe in you, their confidence in you turns into confidence in yourself.

Dance will inspire a lot of things–and chief among them is confidence, something which will help inside and outside the dance world. 

The 5 Best Stretches for Dancers

Stretches are an essential part of dance no matter what style or genre you want to perform. Stretching plays two major roles in your life as a dancer: it will help you become more flexible and it will help prevent injuries. Let’s take a closer look at 5 of the best stretches for dancers that you should be doing.

Hamstring Stretch

Step One: Sit down on the ground and extend your legs in front of you. Your feet should be in one of two positions: toes pointed or flexed.

Step Two: Place your arms in 1st or 5th position and gradually extend them over your legs.

Step Three: Naturally let your torso follow your extension, and relax your body into the stretch.

Step Four: Hold, release–then repeat with your feet in the other position.

Kneeling Quad Stretch

Step One: Kneel on the ground and slowly extend your left foot in front of you, being careful to place it flat on the floor. Make sure that your leg is bent with a 90 degree angle at the knee.

Step Two: Carefully and gently push your hips towards your left leg.

Step Three: Hold this stretch for about 10 to 15 seconds, then release.

Step Four: Bring your left leg back down, and repeat the stretch with your right leg using Steps 1-3.

Split Stretch

Step One: Sit on the floor with your back/spine straight and centered. Extend your legs outward as wide as you can; if you can’t do a perfectly horizontal split, that’s perfectly fine, as the goal is to just extend as much as you comfortably can.

Step Two: Carefully rotate your torso towards the right, then move your torso over your right leg. Go slow, and breathe as you do this.

Step Three: Keep extending until you can “feel” the stretch. Hold until you feel your muscles relax.

Step Four: Gradually release the stretch, then repeat with your left leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

Step One: Stand up straight and, being careful to ensure your back does not curve or arch, grab your ankle.

Step Two: Hold this position for a short time. Do not push into the stretch or allow your back to arch.

Step Three: Repeat with the other ankle.

Shoulder/Arm Stretch

Step One: Stand up straight and extend your arms in front of you.

Step Two: Interlock your fingers and carefully rotate your wrists so that the flat of your palm is facing away from you.

Step Three: Lift your arms above your head and hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, before moving your arms back down; then, place your left hand gently behind your head.

Step Four: Take your right hand and gently grasp your left elbow, pressing it down your back as much as you can–while still being comfortable. Hold this position for about 10 seconds, then repeat with your right hand behind your head and your left hand grasping your right elbow.

Note: ALWAYS warm-up before you do any stretches to help prevent injuries!

What to Expect from Dance Classes

Dance class can be fun, exciting and rewarding– but it can be a bit daunting as well, especially for children who are new to the concept of group classes with other kids. The following is a handy guide on what children can expect when they begin taking dance classes for the first time.

Class Etiquette is Very Important

One of the very first things children will learn in a dance class is the proper etiquette for participating in class. This includes learning how to raise your hand and patiently wait your turn for the teacher to get to you; as well as learning how to share the dance space with others, how to stand still while waiting, and even how to properly line up before class starts and after it ends. Respect is also very important in the dance studio, and children should know how to listen to and respect the adults in the room.

The dress code is an important part of class etiquette as well. The dress code will vary by studio, but most classes will require certain types of clothing, shoes, and hairstyles in order to make sure dancers can participate comfortably and safely. Parents should make sure that their children follow the dress code before they arrive to class.

They Will Learn the Basics First

Many young dancers hope to start learning fancy moves and complicated routines right away– but children will need to learn the basics first. This can be frustrating, especially for children who may have signed up for classes after watching a dance-based movie or seeing a ballet. Parents should encourage children to understand the importance of learning the fundamentals of dance; if they don’t work hard on getting the basics right, they won’t able to learn those amazing moves and routines they may see experienced and professional dancers performing at competitions, shows, and on TV.

The basics include teaching children proper techniques for standing and moving positions, how to move and position their feet, how to hold and move their arms; as well as learning how to actually learn and remember dance steps for specific routines. Depending on the age-group, children will also begin learning important dance vocabulary as they work on the fundamentals of dance.

It’s Not All About Them

One of the best parts of dance class is that it encourages children to learn how to interact and get along with others. They will learn how to let other children take turns, how to wait patiently child adults interact with other children, and how to cooperate together in dance movements and routines. Some of the children in their class may even become their friends! It’s important for children to understand that dance class isn’t just for them– it’s a group experience. Some children adjust to this idea smoothly while others may need more time to get used to it.

Dance class is a rewarding experience for many children– and with a little preparation, you can make sure your child knows what to expect when they step in the studio.